Teaching Spare parts; the dreamers and reaching your goals

spare parts“Spare Parts,” a smart, creative and highly-enjoyable drama about a team of intelligent, hard-working and ambitious high school students who enter a prestigious robotics competition, and their dedicated science teacher who mentors, educates, pushes and inspires them, is a rousing, uplifting, spirited–and excellent–film and a great start to the new film year. – Source: WFI 

The films also raise the issue of the Dreamers, kids illegally smuggled to the U.S. by their parents and who grow up as Americans. Before President Barak Obama’s policy of Deferred Action

 for Childhood Arrivals, Dreamers faced deportation and may do so again if Congress does not act or if another President rescinds the policy.

These developments have altered the conditions for these young people and should be included when working with this topic.

President Donald Trump has decided to end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children, according to two sources familiar with his thinking. Senior White House aides huddled Sunday afternoon to discuss the rollout of a decision likely to ignite a political firestorm — and fulfill one of the president’s core campaign promises. Source: politico

Competence aims covered in this task:

  • 1c evaluate different digital resources and other aids critically and independently, and use them in own language learning
  • 2h interpret and use technical and mathematical information in communication
  • 3B understand and use an extensive general vocabulary and an academic vocabulary related to one’s education programme
  • 3E use own notes to write texts related to one’s education programme
  • 3H produce different kinds of texts suited to formal digital requirements for different digital media
  • 3I evaluate different sources and use contents from sources in an independent, critical and verifiable manner
  • 4D discuss and elaborate on English language films and other forms of cultural expressions from different media

Lesson plan

  1. Watch the movie in class. For goal 3E you need to be able to take notes from the movie.
  2. Write a post on your blog where you discuss one or more of the following topics: succeeding dramatically in academics, working together as a team, society, culture, race and politics, immigration issues, the Dreamers (see explanation above) and the importance of mathematics and robotics. (try to include all the above competence aims here!)

After Showing the Movie

One of the most interesting things to do with Spare Parts is to see how much of the film is true and how much was made up by the movie makers. Here are some of the most important points.

  1. Write a short paragraph on your blog about what surprised you about the list.
  2. Write a short paragraph where you describe the difference in resources the teams had to use on the robot and how this influenced their work.
  3. Write a short paragraph on areas where a robot can be useful. Here is one example from Japan.
  4. Oral task, in your groups, discuss the following; What should the U.S. do with the Dreamers? Should they be rounded up and sent back to Mexico? Should they be denied benefits like reduced tuition for residents at state universities? What are the implications of the decisions made by Donald Trump?

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